By Tony Sposit
Last weekend the Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks traveled to Detroit to take on their division rival, the Metro Jets for a pair of games at Lakeland Arena.
The weekend started out on Saturday evening when the Jets opened the scoring in first period to take a 1-0. The second period saw Cleveland come out strong to start the 2nd period with style and speed capped off when Captain Jared Johnson tallied at the 3:30 mark scoring from a rebound. The next 12 minutes were up and down hockey with both teams having chances. At 15:58 of the 2nd the Jacks struck again to take the lead as rookie Alex Buban scored his first junior goal. The Jacks would take a 2-1 lead into the locker room after 2 periods. With :28 seconds left in the game Mike Palsics would seal the victory with an empty net goal. The final, Jacks 3 Jets 1.
The rematch was setup for Sunday afternoon. This one saw a very similar feel as Saturday night with the action up an down on both sides of the ice. And it stayed that way until the 5:25 of the 2nd period when the Jacks tied it up on a power play goal from Brendan Logan. The Jets would tie it later in the period and the teams would go into the 2nd intermission tied at 1-1. But, with 3:09 left in the game the Jets would score to take the lead. Rising to the challenge and for the 2nd time in 2 weeks, Cleveland came back to tie the game with less than a minute left. At the 20 second mark of the period Tyler Pritt, scored to tie up the contest. Then it was on to overtime. For the third time this season the Jacks saw overtime and a shootout. However in a side note, all 3 of the starts by Tyler Jansen have ended in a shoot out. The Jacks did not have a single game last season that went too a shootout, however despite an amazing effort, the Jacks ended up on the tail end of this one as they ended the weekend in a split.
"I thought we competed all weekend long which is a positive,” stated Head Coach and GM Bob Jacobson, when asked about his thoughts on weekend. “While I dislike losing just as much as I always have, going on the road and getting 3 points is something we can build on. A major plus was coming back to tie a game with under a minute to go again. These were 2 physical contested games that were good for us. Having Joe play as well as he did on Saturday and getting the victory is good for him. We believe that we are starting to get contributions from all players in ways that do not necessarily show up on a stat sheet. Only giving up 7 goals in the last 4 games speaks well to how our goalies have been playing and how the team is making strides in there work ethic on the defensive half of the ice. We have a big 3 game weekend at home coming up and I think it should be 3 very close games."